BGS Summer Meeting 2014 “Nowt Ewe Canna Dae Wi’ Girse”

BGS Summer Meeting 2014 “Nowt Ewe Canna Dae Wi’ Girse”

Booking now Closed!

BGS are pleased to announce our 2014 Summer Meeting is being hosted and planned with thanks to the North of Scotland Local Grassland Society from Friday 4th July 2014 to Monday 7th July 2014. We will be staying at the comfortable and well appointed Thistle Aberdeen Airport Hotel situated near Dyce and visiting 8 farms across three days, showing the range of grassland farms in the North East of Scotland. To access the promotional flyer including the provisional programme below, please click here.

                                                                                        Programme                                                                                            On the first evening, Friday 4th July, we will be hosting our AGM, reception dinner and welcome address, followed by local Scottish entertainment. Registration will be from 3pm.

                                                                                  Saturday 5th July:                                                                                              Farms begin south of Aberdeen, the old coastal county of Kincardineshire.

  • Our first visit is to Gregor Colquhoun’s 810 acre farm of Dendoldrum at Inverbervie.  The farm’s 420 Holstein Friesian cows yield an impressive 10,500 litres per cow per year of milk sold. The herd is housed in a range of modern purpose designed buildings. Conserved grass and cereal crops form the basis of the diets in this efficient enterprise.
  • We then travel across the Howe of the Mearns to the Macphie family’s diversified estate of Glenbervie, where the focus is on quality food production at all levels. This includes beef from a 200 cow pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd, managed by our host for the visit, John Lohoar. We will have a chance to see some quality cattle as well as the highlights of this beautiful property.
  • Our final visit of the day is to the James Hutton Institute’s research station, Glensaugh where a mixture of improved grassland and acid moorland supports 900 extensively managed Scottish Blackface and crossbred ewes as well as 50 suckler cows and 100 red deer hinds. Our tour chairman Donald Barrie will talk about the evolution of the farming system to meet the economic challenges of our time.

Finally to finish day 1 we have an evening meal, followed by a ceilidh at the Thainstone Exchange. After our evening entertainment we return to Thistle Aberdeen Airport Hotel.

                                                                                     Sunday 6th July:                                                                                     Today we head north of Aberdeen.

  • Our first visit is to the Gordon family’s 1,250 acre upland unit of Wellheads in the Deveron valley overlooking the historic town of Huntly. John Gordon’s main enterprises are a suckler herd of 220 Limousin X cows and a flock of 600 Scottish Mules and 260 Texel cross ewes. Calving is split between autumn and spring and all progeny are sold at a year old through Thainstone Mart at Inverurie. All lambs are finished on farm.
  • From Huntly we travel southwards to Logie Durno at Pitcaple which is owned and run by William and Carole Ingram and their sons Gregor and Bruce, winners of the 2010 Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year Award. A total of 850 acres carries around 2,000 ewes, the principal output from which is top quality performance recorded commercial rams, the majority of which are sold on farm. Low input clover rich grassland underpins Logie Durno’s output and swards are renewed every four to five years.
  • Later in the day we meet George and Bruce Walker at their 1,000 acre farm at Newton of Lewesk at Old Rayne near Insch. The Walkers successfully finish up to 1,200 head of cattle (on a diet of straw, cereals and distillery by-products) and 2,500 lambs per year. Cropping is a mixture of winter and spring cereals and some haylage is produced for the sheep. George and Bruce are renowned for the quality of their swedes and continue to win awards at the Spring Show and other events in the local area.

We return to The Thistle Hotel, for our annual tradition Gala Dinner, which will be hosted by the incoming BGS President David Lee. Our speaker will be Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute.

        Monday 7th July

  • Our final visit is to the 600 acre farm of Darrahill at Udny which is owned and run by third-generation dairy farmers Ronald and Laura Barron along with their son Ian. The Barron’s 240 pedigree Holstein cows average 10,100 litres and are milked through a recently built 40 point rotary parlour incorporated in a new 250 cow cubicle house. Ronald has also installed a slurry storage system and a range of energy saving devices to reduce the carbon footprint of the business. In 2010 the Barron family were placed in the top four in Agriscot’s Dairy Farm of The Year.
  • Our tour ends with a visit to SRUC’s grass and clover variety trial plots at Kinellar, Aberdeen, comprising:       1. National List Trials                                                                                                                                                                2. Recommended List Trials                                                                                                                                                  3. Scotvar Trials

The National List Trials form part of a UK wide programme covering six sites. This provides the screen that narrows the list of material entering the Recommended List programme. Kinellar is one of three sites in Scotland providing RL information for the independent Scottish RL – the other two sites being Edinburgh and Auchincruive. The Scotvar programme provides breeders with an opportunity to screen their material under Scottish conditions before entry into NL trials.

                                                                             Alternative Tour (Provisional)                                                                        We will also be running an alternative tour for those who would like to see fewer farms and the more leisurely sights of North East Scotland. We have some interesting and beautiful places lined up.

Day 1:                                                                                                                                                                                                 Royal Deeside visiting Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar Distillery and afternoon tea at Aboyne or Banchory.

Day 2:                                                                                                                                                                                                 Johnstones of Elgin Wool and Cashmere Centre, Spey Bay Dolphin Centre or Baxters of Speyside, famous for soups and preserves, Touched by Scotland, local Scottish crafts.

Day 3                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bus Tour of the Granite City, Aberdeen harbour cruise or shopping.

With special thanks to our main sponsors of this event:

                                                 

Information

Event Date: Fri, 04/07/2014 - Mon, 07/07/2014
Event Time: Various

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